Saturday, I went downtown to the Farmer's Market.
It seems I had forgotten how much I enjoyed doing this: going without a firm plan and letting the market itself guide my choices. Yes, I did have a list, but I decided not to be completely wedded to it.
At some point, as I wandered, I remembered how much I used to enjoy this -- the going to the market, looking, selecting, planning as I went. Going to the Rhinebeck farmer's market had been one of the high points of our week, as was bringing home our produce, spreading it out on the kitchen island, prepping and planning menus before going off to the standard grocery store to fill in any gaps. We did that when we first arrived here as well. George and I and Tammy, his favorite aide and best friend that last year and a half of his life. That first summer in Knoxville, we spent our Saturday mornings at the market. Since then, however I had gradually pulled back without even realizing it, without even realizing what I had lost.
In fact, it started with the celery. I had just been bemoaning the loss of celery leaves a day or two before and there they were. I miss the plethora of greens I found in Rhinebeck, but I am in a different place now, a different climate. I can adjust. But I loved seeing the celery and I intentionally bought two bunches so that I could freeze the tougher stalks, as well as the wonderfully flavorful leaves, in small batches to be used in soups throughout the year. Yes, I also made soup. And next time I see celery, I will buy more.
In fact, I spent much of Saturday playing in the kitchen, prepping vegetables, cooking a few larger dishes so that I could have something delicious to come home to on those rushed days when I might not feel like cooking something just for myself. I had let the obligation of eating rob me of the joy of cooking. Saturday, I let the joy of Earth's bounty guide me and refresh me. Even though I was tired at the end of the day, and I was no slave to the kitchen, it was a good kind of tired, an expansive kind of tired, full of promise.